Ivory Coast votes in a parliamentary ballot amid political turmoil | Elections Information
The vote comes months after President Ouattara won a third term in a troubled poll that left at least 85 people dead.
Voting in the parliamentary elections in Ivory Coast has started. President Alassane Ouattara’s allies face a common challenge from opposition parties led by two of his predecessors.
Saturday’s poll comes just months after Ouattara won a third term in a troubled election that killed at least 85 people. This is the worst violence in the country since a 2010-2011 civil war.
After the boycott of the presidential elections in protest against Ouattara’s decision to seek a third term, the parties of former presidents Henri Konan Bedie and Laurent Gbagbo put parliamentary candidates on a joint list.
Clear scrutiny of parliament by Ouattara’s party, the Houphouëtist Assembly for Democracy and Peace (RHDP), would strengthen its hand in pursuing an agenda based on attracting investment for the world’s best cocoa producer. Ivory Coast has been one of the fastest growing economies in the world in recent years.
“We vote for peace. We don’t want endless debates between Ivorians anymore, ”said Aïcha Coulibaly, a hairdresser who wore an RHDP T-shirt, when she voted in Abobo, an Ouattara stronghold in the commercial capital Abidjan.
Polls close at 6:00 p.m. GMT and final results are due on Sunday.
The opposition is under pressure to show that it remains relevant after more than a decade of political domination by Ouattara, who came to power after defeating incumbent Gbagbo in the 2010 elections and the ensuing civil war in the civil war that followed.
Gbagbo’s faction of the Ivorian Popular Front (FPI) is participating in national elections for the first time since he was ousted in 2011 and will be tried before the International Criminal Court on war crimes charges. He was acquitted in 2019.
“I am pleased to be able to take part in this vote. I haven’t voted since 2010, ”retired Alfred Balli told Reuters after casting his vote in Yopougoun, a stronghold of Abidjan in Gbagbo.
Bedie’s Democratic Party of Ivory Coast (PDCI) dominated national politics from the 1940s until his overthrow as president in 1999. It supported Ouattara for years but split from him in 2018.